A three-day-old baby died in hospital after his mother contracted coronavirus, an inquest heard today.
Coolio Carl Justin Morgan’s mother tested positive for Covid-19 before she gave birth.
The baby was born in the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, South Wales, with a low heart rate.
The inquest at Pontypridd Coroner’s Court heard he was transferred to Singleton hospital in Swansea but died later.
The primary cause of death was listed as severe hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy, meaning the brain is starved of blood and oxygen, the BBC reports.
Maternal Covid-19 was listed as a secondary cause.
Coolio was born in the Princess of Wales Hospital (pictured) in Bridgend, South Wales, with a low heart rate
Coroner Graeme Hughes heard Coolio, whose family live in nearby Maesteg, died on May 5 when he was three days old.
Senior coroner’s officer Lauren Howitt told the hearing ‘the mother was found to be Covid-19 positive soon after delivery’.
No post-mortem examination was carried out and the coroner asked his officers to investigate the circumstances of the death ahead of the next hearing.
He said: ‘I pass on my condolences to the family in these most sad and depressing circumstances.’
A full hearing will be held in April next year.
A funeral for just ten mourners will be held for baby Coolio in Maesteg next week.
A local firm of undertakers is making the arrangements with the baby’s heartbroken relatives.
Mayor of Maesteg Councillor Steve Smith said: ‘It’s heartbreaking for the family and our hearts go out to them.
‘It’s terrible to lose any family member during this crisis but a three day-old baby is just awful. But this is a close knit caring community and we will do our best for them.’
Labour Councillor Ceri Reeves added: ‘The loss of a baby is particularly tragic. We look after our own here and the community is there for the family.’
COULD THE MOTHER’S COVID-19 HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE BABY’S DEATH?
Scientists say there is no conclusive evidence yet mothers-to-be who are infected with the coronavirus face a greater risk of their baby dying.
Few children have died with COVID-19 worldwide and research is still ongoing to see how exactly how the SARS-CoV-2 virus affects them.
In the case of Coolio Morgan, it is not clear why his mother’s COVID-19 was listed as a secondary cause of death, nor whether he was tested.
His main cause of death was hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy, which is when a baby’s brain gets starved of oxygen.
The condition – which can cause brain damage or death without immediate medical intervention – is thought to occur in 0.1 per cent of all births.
HIE can be caused by low levels of oxygen in a mother’s blood, which is an effect that severe COVID-19 has been proven to have in adults.
But there has so far been no research proving this can affect a baby in the womb.
A recent study carried out in the UK found that, of 427 pregnant women with COVID-19, intensive care rates were no higher than in the general population.
Five babies died in the study – three were ‘definitely unrelated’ to their mother’s COVID-19, while a link was unclear for the other two.
It comes just days after a six-week old baby died of Covid-19, becoming the UK’s youngest victim. NHS England said the infant died on May 3.
Figures earlier this week from an Oxford University study showed five pregnant women have died with Covid-19.
Prof Marian Knight said the fate of the babies carried by the five women is unknown.
The Oxford University study found 427 mothers-to-be were admitted to NHS hospitals with the life-threatening disease between March 1 and April 14.
But their analysis does suggest expectant mothers are at no greater risk of severe Covid-19 than any other women.
The research also looked at the babies of the mothers with COVID-19, finding one in four babies were born early.
Five of the babies in the study died, but three of those were ‘definitely unrelated’ to the coronavirus, the scientists said, while it remained unclear whether the virus contributed to the other two deaths.
There is no evidence to suggest pregnant women are more likely to catch to the coronavirus than the general population.
However, due to changes to the immune system, it’s been speculated pregnant women may be more vulnerable to severe infection.
The Government has, therefore, told all pregnant women to be extra stringent in practicing social distancing.
The study is believed to be the first large-scale study looking at pregnancy and its links with COVID-19.
Oxford researchers conducted it alongside the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Patient data for the study was collected from all 194 hospitals in the UK with a consultant-led maternity unit.
Although the number of people dying in care homes has remained lower than hospital deaths so far, residents are making up a larger proportion of the fatalities being reported each week, from just five per cent of the total at the start of April to 40 per cent at the end of the month